Former NFL Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who is a four-time Super Bowl champion, emphasized the importance of the Army-Navy game as “America’s game” Friday during an appearance at USAA’s Media Row event in Boston, Massachusetts.
Gronkowski told reporters it “means a lot” for “America’s game” to come to New England and “the city of champions” for the first time.
“Just to have Army versus Navy here in my backyard at Gillette Stadium is something special, that’s for sure,” he said.
As spokesman with USAA, which is the presenting sponsor of the Army-Navy Game, Gronkowski said it was a “super cool” experience Friday to be able to give two vehicles to “well-deserving” veterans in the community through USAA’s Recycled Rides program. After presenting an Army veteran and a Navy veteran with keys to new vehicles, Gronkowski said it was “amazing” to witness the “joy and smiles” on the faces of the veterans and their families.
Gronkowski told American Military News he hoped people watching the Army-Navy Game would be able to experience an entertaining game of back-and-forth football. However, while he acknowledged that people watch football for entertainment, he emphasized that the Army-Navy game is a special opportunity for the players to represent the United States.
“We’re hoping to see the game of football played how the game of football should be to represent our nation,” he said. “We’re also looking for people to look at the game and see how strong our military is… Just to see how strong we are, how we’re going against each other in a football game. After the football game, how this game brings us together and makes us stronger, just as a whole for the military and as a whole for America.”
The former NFL tight end also emphasized the importance of the Army-Navy Game for USAA. Gronkowski highlighted the “incredible work” of USAA, which offers services for both current military members and veterans.
“They put their life at ease by offering what they offer, insurance for everything that they offer insurance for and the banking as well, so that’s what’s so great about USAA,” he told American Military News.
The former Super Bowl champion said he is “always willing to give back to the military” since “everyone in the military fights for our freedom.” Expressing his admiration for service members, Gronkowski told reporters that each member of the military makes the sacrifices that enable him to play the game of football freely.
“So just going to the game, supporting our veterans, meeting members of USAA tomorrow while I’m at the game, just meeting veterans and our military, it’s just awesome,” he said. “I just appreciate what everyone does for our country and appreciate all their sacrifices.”